3 Texas Rangers to watch, and 2 Houston Astros that Texas needs to shut down

Texas is about to play the most important series of the season starting on Labor Day, and these are the players that will likely determine the outcome of the series.
Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers
Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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#3 Leody Taveras

It has been quite the up and down season for the 24-year old center fielder. There are days I want to see him traded this off-season and days where I think he could be roaming center field for the next 10 years. I guess that comes along with the Taveras rollercoaster. He is a supreme athlete who sometimes makes questionable baserunning decisions. He generates a ton of exit velocity but also will go through stretches where he cannot make contact. It is looking like Taveras might be on an upswing entering this series against the Astros.

Taveras against the Twins this past weekend was 4-11 including consecutive two-hit games on Saturday and Sunday. He looked like the Taveras from May and June that was driving the ball into gaps. On Sunday he hit the ball hard in three of his four at-bats. That follows up Saturday's game where Taveras had two singles that were both hit over 100mph. It seems like after a long second-half drought he could be breaking out of the slump.

Texas will need Taveras to contribute offensively. Semien has set a Texas Rangers' record for RBI's from a leadoff hitter. When Taveras is hitting he is giving opportunities to Semien and Seager and opening up the possibility for big innings. Taveras is one of the keys to offensive success for the Texas Rangers and he will be instrumental if they are to win this series